Driver, 73, given 2 weeks' jail for knocking down man who later died from injuries

SINGAPORE - A 73-year-old driver failed to keep a lookout for pedestrians, resulting in his car hitting another elderly man who later died from his injuries.

On Friday (July 23), Soh Ah Soon was sentenced to two weeks' jail and disqualified from driving for five years.

He pleaded guilty to committing a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide.

At about 8.10pm on Feb 23, 2019, Soh, who was driving along Serangoon Avenue 2, used a slip road - which has a zebra crossing - to get to Upper Serangoon Road.

He did not slow down before the crossing and his attention was on his car's rear-view mirror.

The vehicle hit Mr Cham Seck Hong, 72, who was using the zebra crossing.

He was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was found to have injuries to his head and spine. He died on March 1, 2019.

According to court documents, Soh was feeling neither sleepy nor tired at the time of the accident.

When asked by the police if he suffered from any medical condition that might have affected his driving, he said he was previously diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

But the condition was under control and he was no longer taking medication, he added.

Soh also said that he had passed a medical examination to renew his driving licence prior to the accident.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Yee Jia Rong urged the court to sentence Soh to at least three weeks' jail and five years' disqualification from driving,

He noted, among other things, that road visibility was clear and Soh's line of sight was not obstructed at the time of the accident. But Soh had made no effort to slow down when approaching the slip road and zebra crossing.

On Friday, Principal District Judge Victor Yeo said the incident could have been avoided as there would have been sufficient time for Soh to notice the victim.

"It is not the case where (the victim) dashed across," he added.

The judge allowed Soh's request to defer his sentence to Aug 13.

For his offence, Soh could have been jailed for up to two years, or fined, or both.

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